Marcus Harris handed maiden Test call-up: Australia have announced their 14-member squad for the first Test against India.
On the back of consistent performances over the years, Victoria opening batsman Marcus Harris has been handed a maiden Test call-up. The development also means that Cricket Australia have ignored Matt Renshaw, who last played for Australia during the fourth Test of their infamous tour of Australia earlier this year.
The 26-year old southpaw has scored 4,089 runs in 67 matches at an average of 35.55 and a strike rate of 56.02. Harris is currently the second-highest run-scorer in this season of the Sheffield Shield.
Him scoring 250* against New South Wales during the second round of Sheffield Shield this year has majorly advocated for his inclusion in the Australian squad. Other than that, he has scored a couple of half-centuries this season, scoring 437 runs in four matches at an average of 87.40 and a strike rate of 55.84.
“Marcus Harris has forced his way into the squad after an impressive start to the Sheffield Shield campaign for Victoria, and in recent times has performed in high pressure matches, including Sheffield Shield finals. Not only has he made plenty of runs, he’s displayed the mental application we believe is required to compete at Test cricket,” national selector Trevor Hohns was quoted.
“We [him and coach Justin Langer] get along really well. We stay in contact regularly and when he was coach of WA, I would always catch up with him when [Victoria] played against them. When you get a clip in the media on the way out, that can be the headline. But that’s certainly not the case with our relationship, we get along really well,” Harris said of coach Langer.
Among the batsmen, middle-order batsman Peter Handscomb has been recalled into the squad. Handscomb also played his last Test during the tour of South Africa and was dropped citing technical errors in his movements while batting.
While all-rounder Marnus Labuschagne and Ashton Agar and fast bowler Michael Nesser have been left out form the squad, the duo of Travis Head, Peter Siddle has been retained. The presence of Siddle and the inclusion of Chris Tremain have increased the number of fast bowler to five in the 14-member squad.
“We will select a final team of 12 prior to each Test, and the two remaining squad members will be released to get important match time in the Sheffield Shield. We believe all players chosen deserve their selection in the squad, and we’re confident given the opportunity all will apply themselves well against India.
“With another round of Sheffield Shield matches to play, players have the chance to strengthen their cases for selection before we finalise the 12 in the lead up to the first Test,” Horns concluded.
Australia’s 14-member for the first two Test vs India
Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Chris Tremain, Peter Siddle, Peter Handscomb
Read some of the latest Twitter reactions on the same below:
— Sporting News Australia (@sportingnewsau) November 22, 2018
— Telegraph Sport (@telegraph_sport) November 21, 2018
— 7 Cricket (@7Cricket) November 22, 2018
In-form rookies Marcus Harris, Chris Tremain called up for Australia Test squad to face India.
— The Field (@thefield_in) November 22, 2018